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114736-carbon_fiber_1.jpg


Figure from Apple patent application showing carbon fiber composite layers
In a post taking Engadget to task for trying to position its revised claims for the second-generation iPad as an actual change in Apple's plans, Daring Fireball's John Gruber uses a footnote to quietly report that he has heard from second-hand sources that Apple may be looking to use a carbon fiber body on the device.
I could publish things I'm only half-sure about, like the iPad 2 switching from aluminum to a lightweight high-strength carbon fiber body, but I don't, because I'm only half-sure and I've only heard about it from second-hand sources who themselves are unsure about it. And even if I were to off-handedly mention such speculation, I'd do so in a footnote and take pains to emphasize the uncertain nature of the information and the second-hand status of the sources thereof. What I would never do is take a flyer and report uncertain speculation as a fact, and, if it wound up not panning out, chalk it up to Apple having changed things at the last moment rather than the report being flat-out wrong all along.
Claims and speculation regarding a shift to carbon fiber shells for Apple's devices are not new, with a 2008 report suggesting that Apple was investigating the possibility of shifting the MacBook Air to a carbon fiber body, and a patent application surfacing a few months later revealing that Apple was at least interested in the possibility. More recently, iLounge reported earlier this month that prototype second-generation iPads with carbon fiber shells had been spotted but that it was unclear whether they would make it into production models.

Gruber has a strong record when it comes to Apple product rumors, but his careful wording in this case obviously suggests that the report should be taken with a healthy amount of skepticism unless or until new information surfaces.

Article Link: Second-Generation iPad to Gain Carbon Fiber Body?
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,279
5,407
What do carbon fiber bodies feel / look like?

The word "carbon" just always makes me think of black gunky stuff. I'm worried I'll come away from using it looking like I just drew all over my hands in pencil.

I know that it's sillyness, but still, what does carbon fiber look and feel like?
 
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lord patton

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,052
10
Chicago
Poor Gruber. He has about two seconds before the nasties on this board jump in to excoriate him for deliberately presenting his guesses and opinion as... guesses and opinion.

I'm sure he's got thick skin, though.
 
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emwgradstudent

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2011
53
0
Carbon fiber

I would welcome carbon fiber! I really like how it looks on cars and how the exposed fibers are kind of like wood grain!

Benefits: light weight, VERY strong unibody material, looks great
Weakness: carbon fiber more expensive than aluminum

Aluminum is currently about $1 per pound whereas carbon fiber is around $10. Not too long ago though it was over $100, so it is becoming more affordable!

We will see.
 
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topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,365
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FEMA Region VIII
That image looks more like the next-gen iPad will be made out of recycled car tires :eek:



Of course the whole "carbon fiber look" jumped the shark a long time ago and is pretty much cheese nowadays.
 
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r2fa3l

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2010
208
0
Texas
SMH... those suck. werent the "carbon" cases enough. Anyway I doubt it. Steve would never allow that shady texture on his iDevices
 
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HarryKeogh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
601
799
Does carbon fiber still have that woven look? Or is that just one particular incarnation of it?
 
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emwgradstudent

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2011
53
0
What do carbon fiber bodies feel / look like?

The word "carbon" just always makes me think of black gunky stuff. I'm worried I'll come away from using it looking like I just drew all over my hands in pencil.

I know that it's sillyness, but still, what does carbon fiber look and feel like?

Carbon fiber feels like plastic because it is sealed with a form of lacquer that makes it glossy.

As for what does it look like, I found this mockup:

world-first-carbon-fiber-macbook-3.jpg
 
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scottdot

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2008
47
0
New Mexico
Does carbon fiber still have that woven look? Or is that just one particular incarnation of it?

I would be open to such a woven look of a carbon fiber Apple anything. It makes sense in the progression of Apple industrial design, but my gut says they'll stick with aluminum and black for a little bit.
 
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DukeOfHunslet

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2011
48
0
Hunslet, England
Even if there's some truth in it I think it's a bad move.

Carbon Fibre/Fiber while being very light and strong is usually made to work under given conditions. One of those conditions is temperature.

One of the reasons Mercedes Benz are hanging back from using Carbon parts on production cars is the problem of keeping up the warranty when it's new owner subjects it to heat or cold - the parts begin to rapidly fail.

A carbon case on a mac is likely to be coated with something to insulate it - not good when it's casing is meant to be a heat sink to start with.

Carbon parts in motorsport have a user life of a fraction of the production parts they replace and are nearly always made to work in a set temperature range.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,279
5,407

Ew, I didn't believe you so I looked up some images.

It looks really disgusting. I don't think Apple is going to be moved to it anytime soon unless they have a way of making it not look like it deserves to be smashed into the pavement....
 
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brianadkins

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2007
20
13
What do carbon fiber bodies feel / look like?

The word "carbon" just always makes me think of black gunky stuff. I'm worried I'll come away from using it looking like I just drew all over my hands in pencil.

I know that it's sillyness, but still, what does carbon fiber look and feel like?

It feels a lot like plastic... because it is plastic. It is plastic that has been reinforced on the inside with carbon fibers. The plastic is usually epoxy or polyester. This is the outer surface that you would feel.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,279
5,407
Even if there's some truth in it I think it's a bad move.

Carbon Fibre/Fiber while being very light and strong is usually made to work under given conditions. One of those conditions is temperature.

One of the reasons Mercedes Benz are hanging back from using Carbon parts on production cars is the problem of keeping up the warranty when it's new owner subjects it to heat or cold - the parts begin to rapidly fail.

A carbon case on a mac is likely to be coated with something to insulate it - not good when it's casing is meant to be a heat sink to start with.

Carbon parts in motorsport have a user life of a fraction of the production parts they replace and are nearly always made to work in a set temperature range.

:-/ I use my iPhone in well below freezing temperatures (I think the coldest I've exposed it to is -10˚F)... I imagine if I were to get an iPad it would be similarly tortured.
 
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violaboy

macrumors member
Sep 7, 2007
88
0
ok

If carbon fiber would be lighter, and less resistant to breakage, I wouldn't mind it.

Would it be cheaper? Is it recyclable, like aluminum?

One issue might be heat dissipation. I can't imagine that carbon fiber would be as good as aluminum in this regard.

As a professional violinist and violist, I regularly use carbon fiber bows and prefer them over wood bows, especially in regards to cost. I have carbon fiber bows that have the cross-mesh look, but others are just a solid color.

This rumor almost sounds like it should go on page 2...

I guess we'll see what happens!
 
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